5 Companies that invest in their employees and how they do it
Well before the pandemic, employers had to recognise that a happy workforce, where employees can live comfortably outside of work, adds more value to the business. In fact, studies have shown that happy employees are 12% more productive than their unhappy counterparts.
The mix of very different generations, combined with the opportunities that a globalised market offers and the desire for a career with a deeper purpose, have added many more dimensions to the employer-employee relationship.
Inserting lockdown restrictions into the fold, where professional and private lives are now intertwined, demands for flexibility and respect for mental health have become critical priorities.
Nowadays, talent is drawn to companies that resonate with its purpose, champion employee growth, encourage professional development, recognise and compensate those who go the extra mile, and offer fair wages. Many, most importantly, aren't afraid to leave a job if these expectations are not met, as evident through The Great Resignation.
There has never been a more crucial moment for companies to understand their employees, cultivate a healthy company culture, and invest in their development. So, how are companies taking the lead, and what are the results?
It's been seven years since Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments, sent shock waves through the business world by setting a minimum wage of $70,000. Price even cut his own salary from $1.1 million to $70,000 to help fund it. The results? While many thought this initiative would be the end of the company, it has tripled in size, cut employee turnover in half, and doubled its number of employees.
However, the benefits weren't limited to the business. With the sudden increase in financial stability, by 2021, more employees were able to start families (a traditional marker of happy employees), and home buying increased ten-fold. In return, employees aren't afraid to go the extra mile for their employer. For instance, when the pandemic hit, employees voluntarily conceded up to 40% of their income to help the business survive.
Yelp is an online guide that connects people with great local businesses. This connectivity extends to the way Yelp treats its employees.
Aside from widespread benefits such as covering the expenses of a home office or offering wellness reimbursements, Yelp invests in creating an inclusive culture by providing tailored benefits such as services for transgender and non-binary individuals, adoption assistance, paid time off for new parents and mental health services. The aim is to improve the work-life balance and well-being of employees.
Yelp also creates a supportive culture that encourages regular constructive feedback, goal-focused one-to-ones, team meetings, and thank you shout-outs for a job well done. Employees are free to implement independent ideas and lead while they learn, with the company's support.
Such an open, supportive company culture creates a safe space for employees to express their concerns and fosters a creative environment that encourages out-of-the-box ideas. According to a survey by Forrester, 82% of executives agree that companies benefit from creativity. Among those benefits include increased revenue and greater market share.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
The Federal Bureau of Investigation was formed in 1908 as the US's premier federal law enforcement agency. Even though the FBI is a prestigious government-led organisation, they're not immune from the loss of talent.
The Bureau recognises the need for employees to stay up to date with advancements in science and technology to deliver exemplary services and products. Therefore, the agency offers in-house and external training programs, seminars, and conferences for employees to deepen their knowledge and use their skills for continuing government work. Additionally, incoming recruits have full access to world-class gymnasium and training facilities.
Employee training and development have widespread benefits, from decreased employee turnover to improved productivity. In terms of retention, 86% of millennials would remain in their current positions if their employer offered training and development. On the other hand, companies that spend $1,500 or more on employee development per year report 24% higher annual profits than their counterparts that spend less.
Originally a software company, Adobe is currently one of the biggest tech companies globally and prides itself on elevating the idea of digital experiences. Due to its ample resources, Adobe chooses to invest in a range of development resources, offer financial assistance, and provide stretch opportunities to help employees accelerate their growth.
They also understand that employees want more than career development; they value well-being and a healthy work-life balance. So Adobe invests in meditation and mindfulness programmes, healthy habit-building services, time off to recharge and even covers a paid sabbatical every five years.
Adobe's vision of work-life balance isn't just to support productivity; it can save lives. People who work 55 hours or more per week have a 1.3 times higher risk of stroke than those who work 40 hours. People who work long hours regularly are also 1.66 times more likely to suffer from depression and 1.74 times from anxiety. Companies like Adobe directly positively impact their employees' overall health by investing in employee well-being.
When Internet domain registrar and web hosting provider, GoDaddy, found out via an annual engagement survey in 2019 that employees weren't confident navigating their career with the company, they reacted by creating MyCareer, an online hub for any career-related questions.
Quickly reacting to new challenges beyond career development, GoDaddy addressed the growing side-hustle culture with their "you're more than just your job" campaign. They even organise resource groups to help employees with their ventures.
Such an open-minded approach to employee loyalty is unique in the market. Although it might seem detrimental to the business, it is a great way to keep a company ahead of the curve and build ongoing loyalty.
The approach to the best way to invest in employees is unique to every business. Some businesses take unconventional methods, like Gravity Payments. Others, like GoDaddy, have taken a more personalised approach. Although the forms can be very diverse, what's important is that companies react to the current demands and find the best way to invest in their employees because, ultimately, happy and stable employees are productive and can generate exponential value for the business.